L13: Weekly Reflections

Getting Started with Google Analytics 

Improve the effectiveness of your website.

ABC Google Analyic cycle (Business owners want to know):

Acquisition:

  • How do visitor find my website? / How people are getting to your site?
    • Through a source, the way someone came to your website, like Google, email marketing, social media. Through a medium, like organic result or CPC result.
    • Channels reports: groups of traffic source – Which are effective?
      • Organic search – Types a keyword into Google and then clicks on your site
      • Direct – Someone types your url into the search. That’s why a domain name should be short, easy to spell, easy to remember.
      • Paid search – Google Ad through AdWords.
      • Social – a link through Facebook, Twitter, etc.
    • What to do with this information
      • Find out which traffic sources are important for your business.
      • Learn which sites refer traffic. Possible partnerships you could make?
      • Develop search engine optimization strategy.
      • Allocate advertising budgets.

Behavior: (What they do when visitors get to your site. An action.)

  • Am I creating effective content?
    • Overview section: page views vs. unique views.
    • Site content report: Helps you dig deep into each page for each section or group of pages in the section. High bounce rate is not always bad. It could mean that people are getting what they need in information form before they leave without clicking any other links within your site.
      • Lading pages report: You can see what happened once visitors got there, how long visitors stayed. It helps you identify what pages are most important and then helps you figure out how to improve the measure of success for that page (customer engagement, desired conversion).
      • Exit pages report: Tells you where most people will leave your site. Add a good-bye message on pages with high exit rate to help continue an action once they leave your site, like contact your company.
    • What to do with this information
      • Learn what visitors are interested in on your site.
      • Drill down into sections to see what visitors look at.
      • Learn where visitors enter and exit your site.

Conversion:

  • How does this impact my bottom line?
    • A website is a tool to help you grow your business, so ask what is your website going to do for you.
  • How to create a goal

Step 1: Decide what your goals are. Can use a template.

Goals

Step 2: Give your goal a description. A name and type (destination, duration, page per visit, or event).

Step 3 : Add goal details. Add destination URL, length of stay, number of pages, or action).

Step 4: Watch the reports to track the analytical information, like goal completions, $ value, conversion rate, and total abandonment rate.

  • What to do with this information
    • Find out if your website is working for your business.
    • Experiment with website changes to increase conversions or change your bottom-line.

Resources:

https://youtu.be/WC3ONXJn9FQ

Interface Navigation

Preparation

Google Conversion University Introduction

How to link Google AdWords and Google Analytics

 

“How will this class help those around me to develop?” – Project #5 and #6 introduced me to Woorank.com. I wish I had known about this site sooner, because it a site that I can definitely share with a number of my friends to help them develop their SEO skills.

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L12: Weekly Reflections

The world has become such an “I want now” world that social media marketing can have an amazing impact on a company, for good or bad. If used correctly, social media can open the doors to convert website visits into product buys or action clicks. Because technology changes rapidly over time, I don’t feel that there are many short term goals that should be created and left as-is. Instead, I think that a web designer or developer needs to make sure that they are constantly updating and improving their sites to keep up with the changing technologies or fads.

With the above in mind, here are my short term goals that I would move over to the long term goal category once they were initially completed.

  • Add a set of vertical, floating social media buttons to each page. – This will allow me to make it quick and easy to share my photos and products online through social media outlets.
  • Customize my URL image and description for social media sharing. – This can be done through a WordPress plugin in that will help me customize the open meta tags that are read by Facebook, or other sites, when sharing a webpage. This plugin will help me brand my site when it is shared through my social media buttons I added in my first short term goal.
  • Share my site on my personal social media sites. – This will help spread the word and increase traffic to my site. It will also start giving me valuable link-backs to my site.
  • Add a pop-up window on my homepage offering mailing list sign-up. – This will help me create an easy-to-access mailing list to inform my customers of new products and build customer relationships.

Long term goals:

  • Update keywords as my site grows and changes. – This will help me continue to bring in relevance to my Google Ads and improve my customer user score.
  • Monitor the comments posted on the links I shared via my personal social media sites and stay active in conversations. – This will help me make improvements and develop more consumer awareness. It will also help put a face to my product.
  • Monitor the updates made as short term goals. – This will continue to help my site grow with the changing technologies and consumer wants.

To measure my goals, I will use Google Analytics to track the traffic coming in from different social media sites. I will do this by setting the Advance Segments to allow me to track a certain segment in Analytics and have all the information at my figure tips.  By using a tracking code to measure the number of visitors to my site, I will be able to tell which social sites I should focus on maintaining or if there are any that I should drop from my marketing strategy.

My biggest goal for social media use; I want to use social media to reach out to those I would not be able to connect with otherwise, not to hide behind the scenes.

A Note of Concern:

While I think social media can be utilized in some amazing ways, it is very important to make sure that the content you post will not come back to haunt you. I have seen one too many people be negatively affected by social sites. You should also understand the legal side of the sites. The content you post may become the property of the hosting site.

Other things I want to remember from this week:

  • Go to Canva.com to create images (sized perfectly) for both Facebook and Twitter.
  • Free version of a social media scheduling programs like Hootsuite.com, Buffer.com or Postplanner.com are available.
  • Youzigncomcan help you create graphics to use on social media sites.

“How will this class help those around me to develop?” – Working with social media again has reminded me just how important it is to teach our kids how to use it correctly. I took the time this week to go over this again with my son.  

L11: Weekly Reflections

The weeks are speeding past as this class comes to an end, but I’m still learning so many things. Some of it I have heard about but never fully understood. I really took a look and my Google Analytics this week. I’m a nerd and love statistics, so I ate up all the numbers. My favorites was seeing that the average number of pages viewed per session was 1.71 and the average session duration was 1:43. I also love that I can see returning customers. I’m excited to see how social media works into my statistics next week.

As for AdWords, I was scared at the beginning of this class that I wasn’t going to get enough impressions, but I have plenty. The “hybrid” ad I created from my first two ads has taken off and has half the click my best ad has in less than half the time. Sweet!

Changing keywords on my landing site and in my ad campaign has already started to help me boost my SEO. Here is some information for the lesson this week I want to remember:

List the five best things you can do to help your sites be optimized for search engines. Explain your reasoning. (Words, titles, links, words in links, reputation)

  1. Review the words I have used on my site carefully to see what words I should keep or change, because search engines take into account every word on a webpage when it is ranking the pages in a search.
  2. Change the code titles that are unseen on my site, because these titles are picked up by search engines because they summarize the page.
  3. Make sure my links are working correctly and have a decent number of links, because search engines look for the number of links on a page and it tells it that there is good information on the site. I could add my website link to the other websites I host to help with this.
  4. Check the words used in my links, because the words in the links have weight in how a search engines rank websites.
  5. Try and add new photos and/or adventure blog pages to my site, because search engines want to see a good reputation being built and is done through site growth of quality links.

For three of your web pages, list at least one keyword that you want to optimize that page for and explain why you chose those words. (Primary and secondary keywords phrases appear in prominent positions in the headline, title, and content.)

  1. I want to optimize the keywords (around the world) used in my tagline on my home page to help drive quality traffic to my website.
  2. I want to optimize the keywords (wall, 2016) used in my description paragraph on my product page to help me convert potential customers.
  3. I want to optimize keywords (professional, photography, quality) found on my “About Me” page so that I rank better and connect with searchers.

Helpful link: Backlinks Checker Tool — Backlink Watch
https://www.marketmuse.com/

“How will this class help those around me to develop?” – I have already gotten to talk with a few people about my new found knowledge in Google AdWords and Analyics. One was with my son to help him understand how important it is to watch what keywords you use when you Google something, so that you don’t end up on a page you don’t want to see.

L10: Weekly Reflections

Welcome to week ten! I started my AdWords campaign late last Saturday night and I was thrilled to see that I had about 2,300 impressions and 8 clicks by Monday morning. One of my ads did twice as well as my second ad, and I am super excited that I finally feel as though I know what I am doing. I still have to Google how to do something every once in a while, but I feel like I understand how AdWords works now that I have seen it action. I was nervous that I still wouldn’t understand what I was doing or that I would somehow inadvertently rack up thousands of dollars that I would owe to Google. Eek! No worries though! I double checked to make sure that I had a daily bid set. $100 to spend over 27 = $3.70 for my daily budget. Each click has cost me around $0.46. I think it is fun to see the statistics on each ad/keyword. I’ve started to add the numbers into Project #4  and it has really helped me understand how the numbers work together to produce the CTR or conversion rate. It also helped me see where I may want to improve and where to start. I’m excited to see how my campaign does over the next few weeks!

“How will this class help those around me to develop?” – I feel as though understanding how to setup a Google AdWords and Analytics account will help me contribute to any future company I may work for.  

Information I want to remember

Videos and Readings

Monitor your ads and keywords

What is Optimization

Keywords

Use Negative Keywords to Eliminate Unwanted Clicks

Avoid Using Overly Generic Keywords

Use Appropriate Keyword Matching Options to Control Who See Your Ads

Expand Your Keyword List to Gain More Traffic

Ads

Improve Your Ads

Use Keywords in Your Ads to Make Them More Relevant

Add a Call-to-Action To Your Ads To Encourage Conversions

Direct Potential Customers to the Most Relevant Page on Your Site

Include Unique Selling Points to Make Your Ads Stand Out

Write A Compelling Headline

Test Your Ad Text Changes

L09: Weekly Reflections

In the spring of 2015 I took a class where I had to code two different sites over the course of the semester. The first one was done over most of the semester, while I only had two weeks to complete the second one for my class final and we couldn’t ask anyone for help. I had never created a single line of code before this class and I had to research a number of topics discussed in the class that were not covered in class and I had no prior knowledge about. I felt as though I stumbled through this class because I was able to follow, for the most part, the videos and instructions that were given to me.  I did well overall in the class, but at the end of the day, I didn’t understand the logistics of what I had done to set up my site. There would be no way I could tell anyone how to recreate what I had done. The worst part of it was that I didn’t know enough to be able to ask the right questions to get the answers. Thank heavens that I picked up on coding quickly, but I sadly ended up losing most of my code because I didn’t understand how an FTP worked. I’m still pretty sad about it, but I have spent a lot of time trying to recover my coded from scratch pages and have managed to find some of each page.

I recall this story now because this class has helped give me the right tools to be able to finally ask the right questions, which have led to me recovering my lost files. I also came across something that made me realize just how much I didn’t understand what I was doing in my last class that dealt with building a website. I went to open a Google Analytics account and found that I already had one! I was surprised at first, until I saw my old website name. It made me smile because I now really think that this class should be rearranged in some way and/or I needed to take a web basics class or something as a prerequisite. Anyway, I had to do some digging to figure out how to add my new website to my exciting Analyics account.

I used NetBeans to code my last sites, but this semester, I am using WordPress to build my site. I have tried to do each activity for this class with the question of “how would I code this from scratch”. Sometimes I know the answer to this question and other times, I have no clue. I’m happy that most of the unknown coding knowledge I have deals with making things move on my page correctly. Either way, I have enjoyed this class.

“How will this class help those around me to develop?” – I feel that knowing the different parts and how to set up a website can help me teach my children how to browse the internet more safely, because I can teach them how things like keywords work.    

L08: Weekly Reflections

I thought I’d start by sharing what I worked on this week. I opened an AdWords account at the beginning of this class when I first heard we would need one to try and get a jump start on things. However, this kind of backfired. I started an “inactive” campaign and had all my keywords entered and then realized that I couldn’t apply the $75 credit given by Google to my account because my account had been opened for longer than 15 day. Bummer. I ended up creating a new AdWords account and applying the credit right away. Then I redid my campaign ad. At least I got in some extra practice.

A little about what I learned -Text ads, the simplest version of the online ads AdWords offers, have three parts: a headline, a display URL, and two description lines. It looks like this:

Headline – 25 characters
Display URL – 35 characters
Description – 35 characters per each line (line 1)
Description – 35 characters per each line (line 2)

In the end this is the ad I came up with to use with for my website:

Stunning Wall Calendars
AD hinckleycalendars.com/
Custom images from around the world
Fast, free shipping. Now 30% off

The focus of the ad group associated with ad is to help promote and inform users of the type of calendar I am selling and the costs associated with it. Words like “stunning” and “wall” used in the tile help users to know what type of product the link will take them to. The second line of description gives the price of my product and lets users know that there is free shipping and they can expect their product on time. I also used the keywords “wall” and “calendar” to help display this ad in the appropriate location.

I used a number of the different tips found in the “Tips for Creating Successful Text Ads” reading, but I think the most beneficial one to my champing is the first tip, ‘highlighting what makes me unique’. I wanted the title to draw in my viewer with the word “Stunning” and show them that this wasn’t any ordinary calendar that they could order. When the second line of the description text is read, the reader will instantly know that my product is high quality. Both of these lines together help paint a picture of a unique product that I am sure they will be pleased with.

“How will this class help those around me to develop?” – I worked in sales for many years, so I had lots of fun marketing my site and creating my own ad, but I really enjoyed reading my classmates’ ads and sound boarding ideas with them. I hope that what I learned this week combined with my sales experience created helpful ideas.  

L07: Weekly Reflection

As I was working on this week’s assignments, a few things occurred to me. A little back story first. I remember when I first started seeing the Google ads that would pop up now and again, but always ignored them because I thought it was just spam, like those annoying ads that popup and have nothing to do with what you are looking for or doing online. Once I learned about AdWords this week, how they work and how to set a campaign up, I started paying more attention to them. I started seeing these ads in a different light. They went from being super annoying, to a way that I could find information that is more relevant to my searches for product or research I was doing. Now they are helpful to me. I guess I didn’t trust them either and thought that they may download spyware or something that would harm my computer. Since I know that these ads are paid for spots, I don’t think that so much anymore. People probably won’t pay for advertising spots just to download spyware. Maybe they would if there is some sort of profit for them in the end. You may think this is silly, but if you have ever had your life hacked, you understand why I’ve always looked at these ads skeptically.

Now that that is out of the way, here are the specific things I want to remember from this week.

  • (This is a question and answer from an assignment.) Did you choose automatic or manual bidding options? Why? I chose automatic bidding for a number of reasons. The biggest deciding factor is that out of everything we have, and are going to do in this class, I don’t fully understand how the bidding works. I think it is something that once I see everything in action, I may start to understand its inner workings. I would like to switch to manual bidding as soon as I can, because from the research I’ve done, manual bidding seems to give you more control over bidding higher on specific keywords that could benefit your ad campaign more.

 

  • A broad match modify keyword is created by putting a plus sign in front of a specific keyword that I require to be present in a search someone does.

 

  • Each click on one of my ads will cost me money.

 

  • Make sure my daily budget is something that I can afford to pay for if each day is maxed out.

 

  • Make sure you have thoughtful keywords attached to your campaign that will help searchers see your ad.

 

  • Using keywords that are too broad will lead to more paid for clicks that won’t turn into product buys on your site.

 

 

To close my thoughts, “How will this class help those around me to develop?” – Learning about an AdWords campaign has given me the knowledge to have in depth conversation with some family members about the pros and cons. It has been a great sounding board for everyone involved.